Photography By: Gold & Goose
Althea Ducati’s Carlos Checa bounced back from his crash in the first World Superbike race today at Phillip Island in Australia, the defending World Champion cruising to the victory in race two.
Checa ended up winning by five seconds, his race made that much easier by first-race winner Max Biaggi’s off-track excursion that left the Italian in last place at the end of lap one. Biaggi turned in a gallant effort, however, making his way all the way back to second place – ending his day with a one-two tally in the two races.
Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes finished third, getting the better of Honda’s Jonathan Rea in the final corner.
BMW’s Leon Haslam turned in a truly heroic performance, the Brit riding with a surgically repaired leg to finish fifth – beating his teammate Marco Melandri in the process.
Maxime Berger rode his Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati to seventh, one spot ahead of Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty, the injured Irishman finishing close to the three battling ahead of him.
Hiroshi Aoyoma finished ninth on the factory Honda, just behind Laverty and well ahead of Nicco Canepa.
Sylvain Guintoli, the Frenchman who finished third in the first race, crashed out as did Michel Fabrizio.
Biaggi leads the World Championship after round one with 45 points – 15 points ahead of Melandri. Sykes is third with 29 points.
The top five all rode different brands of motorcycles – Ducati, Aprilia, Kawasaki, Honda and BMW.
1. Carlos Checa (Ducati)
2. Max Biaggi (Aprilia)
3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
4. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
5. Leon Haslam (BMW)
6. Marco Melandri (BMW)
7. Maxime Berger (Ducati)
8. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia)
9. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda)
10. Nicco Canepa (Ducati)